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How Do I Know When to Replace My Dental Work?

When you get new dental work done, you probably won’t be thinking much about when you’ll need to get it replaced. Veneers, crowns, and other dental hardware, however, will eventually wear out and will need to be replaced.

How long do these kinds of work last? As a general rule of thumb, most veneers and crowns can last for seven years. Some last even longer, depending upon various factors.

Factors That Cause Wear and Tear on Tooth Work

The factors that cause some veneers and crowns to wear out after only seven years, and others to last for a decade or two are varied. Here are some of the issues that impact the life of your veneers and crowns:

  • Construction: The materials used in the construction of your veneers can impact the useful life or your dental work. As a rule, resin veneers do not last as long as those constructed out of porcelain. Porcelain veneers can last from 10 to 15 years.
  • Dental Hygiene and Personal Habits: If you have issues with tooth grinding (bruxism), your crowns and veneers may not last as long as in people who do not have that habit. Poor dental hygiene, too, takes its toll even on crowns and veneers. Although the artificial part of the crown cannot decay as do normal teeth, remember that the crown is attached to a real tooth. That tooth can, and often does, become decayed if you have poor dental hygiene.
  • Your Mouth’s Chemical Balance: Certain medical conditions or eating habits can cause your mouth to become too acidic. That, in turn, can cause your veneers and crowns to break down more quickly. As a part of routine dental checkups, some dentists check the acidity of their patients’ saliva using pH strips. Depending upon the result, those dentists may work with their patients to help them choose a diet that will give their dental work a longer lifespan.

When Does My Dental Work Need to Be Replaced?

Although most veneers and crowns last for anywhere between 7 and 12 years, there will come a time that you will need to replace yours. Here are some things you can look for to help you decide when it is time to have them replaced.

  • Negative Changes in Appearance: Over time, your dental work may shift relative to their position in your mouth. These shifts can affect your appearance. If your gum line recedes, the place where your crown ends may become visible. The color of your dental work may change over the years, causing a mismatch with the rest of your teeth.
  • Worn or Damaged Dental Work: Obviously, if your old dental work gets broken or chipped, it’s time for a change. Yet some damage from wear is more subtle. If you grind your teeth, your crowns may develop small holes. Even though you may not be able to see this damage, your dentist will see it during your routine checkup and alert you to the need to replace it.
  • Dislodged Veneers: Your veneers can become dislodged or even pop off. Generally, they can be replaced, providing that the tooth underneath is healthy.

You may ask, “Is there anything I can do to extend the life of my dental work?” Yes, there is. If you maintain a daily routine that includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing them once a day, and using a fluoride mouthwash, you can keep them in better shape. Also, a regular dental cleaning and checkup is an important part of giving your dental work a longer, more useful life. To discover more information about extending the life of your dental work, contact your dentist today.

Get Dental Work Discounts After Your Insurance is Exhausted

If you have dental insurance you probably have to pay a portion of your dental work. The portion that you have to pay can sometimes be significant. This is especially true if you have a lot of work that needs to be done, such as crowns or root canals, etc. Your dental insurance probably covers 50-80% of your dental costs, but often there are limits on the amount that is covered each year (normally $1,000 or $1,200). When the maximum dental insurance benefit is exceeded for the year many people start to run into problems paying for dental work. That’s the bad news…The good news is that there is a way that you can get help paying for the excess dental costs. Here is what you can do…You can get a dental discount plan and use it with your dental insurance. You just have to make sure that your dentist accepts both your dental insurance and the dental discount plan (a large number of dentists accept the discount plans).

Purchasing a dental discount plan can help you in two significant ways:

1. Help you pay your co-pay/co-insurance (the percentage that insurance does not cover normally 20-50%). Just submit your dental discount card with your dental insurance card when you visit your dentist. The receptionist will be able to assist you in coordinating your insurance and discount plan to maximize your savings.

2. Give you discounts when you reach your yearly insurance limit. If and/or when you go over your annual maximum limit on your dental insurance plan, use your dental discount card to get discounts on the work you still need. You can save up to 50% on dental work with the dental discount plan after you exhaust your dental insurance coverage for the year.

Considering how much you can save using the discount dental plans, they are definitely worth buying, especially if you have a good amount of dental work that needs to be done. If you have great teeth and only go for cleanings, however, the insurance alone may be significant for you. Here are some of the main advantages to purchasing a plan:

Dental discount plans are:

Affordable. The average plan will cost an individual around $8.00-$10.00 per month (most plans do require that you pay for the year in advance). The plan can pay for itself almost immediately. For example if you have a crown that regularly costs $1,200 your plan may discount on average of $600. In this case the plan paid for itself 6 fold.

No limits. You can use the plan as much as you want during the year with no limits. If you have thousands of dollars of work that needs to be done, this can potentially save you thousands.

No pre-existing condition limitations. You won’t get denied a discount card just because you have a condition, in fact this is the best time to get a discount plan.

3 day waiting period (sometimes no waiting period). You can make an appointment right away. This is especially helpful if you have a tooth that is hurting!

The plans are offered by large insurance companies and there are many to choose from. Some of the plans come with vision discounts and chiropractor discounts.